I just joined the forum, yes that means another noob..... Introduction As a professional photographer I get many questions. Some of the most common questions are what camera is best to buy or how much money you can make with photography. These are not the questions you should be asking. There is a lot to think about before making the jump and turn this little hobby of yours into a job. By the end of this guide you should have an idea of the challenges you will face if you want to start a photography business. How I Got Started I am totally self taught, I am only 17 years old and I am making good money with photography. I started with my first camera at the age of 12, it was a old Polaroid that my dad gave me. I never went anywhere without that little camera! Today I have came along way from shooting with a little Polaroid and I now own a Canon 5Dmk2. This camera was a big investment, I worked drywall five days a week for a year to buy this camera and some studio gear! I teach photography workshops for the Southern Oregon Guild and my local high school. I live on my own now, my house is a huge remodeled restraint building. This place is two a story complex and the top floor is my photography studio. I live in the bottom, I worked with the owner of the building to turn the bottom into a house. I make most of my money on weddings and portraits, but I do lots of photography for myself as well. Why did I get started in photography? I guess I just love photography, doing what you love will make you happy! I have a extreme case of ADHD and photography is one thing that keeps me of sound mind. I feel like this is something that I want to do for the rest of my life. Is this something you really want? Before you make the choice to become pro sit down and think about it first. Photography is hard to make a living at, you will struggle for a wile before you will start to see any kind of money coming in! You might be thinking, “If a 17 tear old kid can do it then I can to!”. I have two things to say to you, first off I got lucky with photography because I have a few friends that are already in the photography industry. Sometimes it is not what you know but who's butt you kiss.:greenpbl: The second thing you need to know is you may lose interest in photography if it is your job. Photography sucks when you are stuck doing boring jobs that are not interesting to you. Before you go out and buy that $3,000 camera make sure this is what you want to do! So many people jump in head first just to find out that they just invested a lot of money into the gear for nothing. Where Can I learn more about photography? One way to learn more is to take a good class or workshop about photography. There are some great classes and workshops that are on the cheap side. I suggest taking classes on lighting, the camera, editing, and most important take a good business class. If you do not know the fundamentals of running a business things will become challenging for you. It does not matter if you take the best photos in the world, if you have no idea how to run your business you will fail! If you do not have the money for classes do not be discouraged, I have not taken one single class on photography. I worked for a friend that was into commercial photography, he set a foundation for me and I went from there. You can do the same thing, call around to all the photographers in your area and let them know you would love to work a s a assistant. You may have to work for free for some time but it is worth it! There are many good books out there that teach you the basics you will need to know! Best Business Practices for Photographers John Harrington’s “Best Business Practices for Photographers,” is a great book if you want to learn about the business side of photography. John Harrington has built a photography business that has been successful, with income having risen ten-fold since he started. He is a teacher that can communicate to an audience. He has spoken in the past at courses and meetings of The NPPA’s Northern Short Course, The White House News Photographers Association, Smithsonian Institution, Corcoran School of Art and Design, American Society of Media Photographers Capital Region, University of Maryland, Northern Virginia Community College, Trinity College, and the Northern Virginia Photographic Society. He has worked for over 16 years as an active photographer in Washington DC and around the world, working with both editorial and commercial clients. Editorially, his credits have included the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report, The National Geographic Society, USA Today, People, MTV, and Life. For corporate and public relations clients, John has successfully placed images with the wire services (Associated Press, Reuters, Gannett, Agence France Presse, and UPI) over three hundred times. Commercially, John has worked with well over half of the top fortune 50 companies, and even more of the top 500. Ad campaigns for Seimens, Coca Cola, General Motors, Bank of America, and Freddie Mac, to name a few, have been seen worldwide.